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Another holiday season comes to a close

The craziness of the holidays are winding down, with only New Year’s coming up in a few days.

Normally, I love this time of year, all the family gatherings and food but this year felt a bit, shall we say, off. I guess it was because it is the first Christmas without my memere, so we didn’t do anything Christmas-y with my dad’s side of the family since we were all together at the beginning of the month. My immediate family got together Christmas eve, had a very non traditional supper and opened our gifts; then my mom’s side got together on Christmas day for supper so there was that at least. Too much food, and some beer and wine were consumed, came home after and tried my best to not succumb to the inevitable food coma that was trying to take over while sitting on my couch watching a movie.

We don’t really do gift giving either anymore, both my brother and I are in our 30’s so for the most part, if we ever want something, we get into our respective cars and go get it. The only thing I really wanted was some money so I can have some for the upcoming trip to Jamaica. I remember growing up, getting all these toys and presents, and now, it is definitely more about family being together.

I still have a week left of my holidays before school starts up again. I always find that January is the longest month since we have no inservice days or holidays. That being said, here on the prairies, it’s been a pretty mild “winter” so far. We don’t have a crazy amount of snow like we normally do and honestly, the coldest it’s been has been I’d say has been about -17 to -20°c (that’s 1 to -4°F for you Americans), when normally it’s much colder than that. This, I can deal with. It’s been a nice change!

I know that January won’t be as long for me since I have 16 more days until I’m on the (hopefully) hot and sunny beaches of Ocho Rios, Jamaica! Actually, I just looked online and it looks like the temps are averaging +30c! YAY! I’m looking forward not only to getting away, but also getting to see some of the best people I know and be there to see two of my very good friends get married. I can already hear my liver screaming at me with all the rum punch and other booze I’ll be having lol.

New Year’s is coming soon, I’ll be spending it with a bunch of friends at a local bar here for a DJ night, should be fun. Normally I don’t do the whole resolutions thing, but I continually try to improve myself and the way I live. There will be no changing that aspect, except I will try to focus more again on the positive in life; although it can be hard when in the winter time, when its warm outside, there isn’t much sun. My body craves sun!

To all of you reading, I hope you have a safe and happy New Years, whatever you end up doing! And all the best in 2015 🙂

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Rest easy.

On Friday, the world said good bye to one of the most sincere, humble, devoted, strong willed women I’ve ever met. I’m grateful to have had her as my grandma, she’s taught us all the value of family because she would do anything for hers. After my grandpa got sick, she did everything she could to take care of him, up until his final days, she never gave up hope. All while taking time to take care of the rest of her family in any way that she could.

I remember being a kid and going out to my grandparents’ house in the summer, my brother, cousins and I would play games in the backyard, or the times when my mom was still in university and my brother & I would have to stay out at their house for a week; or at Christmas time, we’d pack up the van and bring every single present there to open (only to turn around on Boxing Day and bring most of them back home). My grandma would always make sure there was plenty of food on the tables and things for the kids to do. She never sat in one spot for long when the family was there, she always had something to do, even after we’d all tell her to “sit down and relax”. I’m going to miss going there, that house has a lot of memories for me. It will be weird going there on Wednesday after the service and not having her there, just like it was weird at first when my grandpa passed away a year and a half ago.

I always thought that I was more like my mom when I was a kid, but as I’ve grown up more, I think I’m a good balance of both parents. My grandma always taught me how important family is, my family is pretty close. Just shows how precious life really is when someone is gone suddenly.

I’ll always remember the amazing times we’ve shared Memere. ❤ I hope that you’re reunited with Pepere & uncle Gerald. Watch over the family and thank you for everything.

R.I.P. We’ll always miss you.

True inspiration.

98. When you see that number, what do you think? A number close to 100 right? What about if you hear “98 years old”? I think when I hear “98 years old”, I think of someone who has lived a long life, someone who has a lot of history, someone who has a lot of stories to tell.

Tomorrow, my Grandmère turns that magic number. 98. She’s an amazing woman who raised 6 kids (my mom and her siblings) with my Grandpère, taught for who knows how many years in their small town. She was the head of the choir in the church for as long as I can remember, she played piano until arthritis made constant playing too hard to do. I remember going out to their house for Christmas as a kid, even though her and my grandpère would be away, they would go south in their RV for the winter, but their home was always open for us. After my grandpère passed away in ’91, she continued to live in the house where my mom spent most of her life in, she lived there until recently, maybe the past year or so. More recently, having my aunts/uncles/parents helping her out with all the yard and house work. It was hard for her to leave the house where there were so many memories, so many stories.

The times of me sitting on the coffee table with my grandparents playing guitar & piano and singing with everyone, or me sitting at the piano playing whatever tune was there, my grandmère has definitely been a musical inspiration for me. She still sings when the family gets together, her voice carrying over everyone else. I don’t have my piano at my house (due to lack of space) but if I did, I would definitely be back to playing it more. I sing, but mostly at home, when I do sing in front of people (other than family), it usually surprises them because it’s something I keep quiet.

This is a video from four years ago, of her singing an old French song.

Honestly, she doesn’t look like she’s 98. Nor does she act like it. Last Christmas, it was around midnight and I was about to leave my parents house for the evening. My grandmère looked at me and asked me why I was leaving, she stated, “it’s still early!” This caused my aunts and mom to laugh and poke fun at me saying that she’s “outlasting” a 33 year old. It’s not every day you can say that you have a relative who has reached that age, who has seen so many trying times, the depression and the effects Canada had from the world wars.

mom & grandmere

I know she’ll never read this, but Happy birthday Grandmère! 6 kids, 14 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 98 years of stories, you’re a true inspiration to everyone you meet. We love you.

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